Wyandottes starting to lay in the winter?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jjdent, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. jjdent

    jjdent Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2013
    Rustburg, VA
    I have a silver-laced who laid her first egg around Dec 1, and a gold-laced who laid her first Jan 1. Isn't this out of the ordinary for this breed? Just wondering.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I think people tend to get hung up on breed tendencies. Each chicken is an individual and will do its own thing, no matter what breed tendencies are. Buff Orpingtons tend to go broody, but not all do. Rhode Island Reds tend to not go broody, yet some do. If you have enough hens for the odds to mean anything, you’ll probably get several more broodies out of 1000 Buff Orpingtons than you will out of 1000 Rhode Island Reds, but any individual one of them might or might not go broody.

    A chicken’s instincts were to lay eggs in the better months when food and weather made it easier to raise chicks and to rest up and build up reserves in the bad months. But we’ve domesticated them. We’ve messed up those instincts. Instead of a hen laying a clutch of eggs and hatching them, we’ve selectively bred them to lay most of the year and not go broody, especially the production breeds like Wyandottes. We also feed them year-around so they don’t have a scarcity of food during the winter. Some people provide extra lights. We’ve totally messed up those instincts.

    I don’t provide any lights and I’ve had pullets start laying in early December. When their molt is finished, I’ve had hens return to laying this time of year. I’ve also had some of each wait until better weather and longer days to start laying. That’s with chickens of different breeds.

    To answer your specific question, that’s a little (but not much) unusual or any chicken, but no more unusual for Wyandottes than any other production breed.
     
  3. jjdent

    jjdent Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2013
    Rustburg, VA
    Cool, thanks for the advice. So I guess if I've got 5 red sex links laying right along, the others could have watched them and "decided" to follow suit, right? I thought it was pretty neat. Thank you. Thought I was going to have to wait til spring.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014

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